Spain and Portugal

With much thanks to Prince William, Kate Middleton, the creator of Gregorian Calendar & Jesus the UK managed to fit 4 public Holidays into a less than 2 weeks. (Good Friday, Easter Monday, the Royal Wedding, 1st Monday of May).

To celebrate the Royal Wedding myself and Bean (mate from London) decided to hang out at the beach in Portugal. Obviously flying straight to Portugal would be a bit boring, Barcelona is a far more convenient place to start.

I can’t remember anything spectacular about Barcelona, I saw an old church, climbed something tall. Met a German called Fritz with a Bob Marley obsession and some Israeli’s who put up with me over beers for a few days… despite the fact that the only Hebrew I know is “5 minutes Breasts”. My Hebrew Lesson.

5 minutes Breasts

Bob Marley Obsession?

From there I went to Madrid, where I did a few more touristy things but completely failed to take any photos. I will give a recommendation for New Europe Tours. After wandering into town with no plan I found these guys with a big red umbrella offering “Free Tours”. The price seemed right so I tagged along and thoroughly enjoyed it. I learnt many things about Spanish & Madrid history mostly I remember The Habsburg Family who had a fondness for sleeping with their cousins. I believe the Spanish all love their current monarch Juan Carlos too. He did some good things allowing the transition from Franco to a Democracy.

After that I met some guys in the Hostel and we went out and found beers the size of our heads!

Beer the size of your head

The following day wandering around town I bumped into some people from the free tour, apparently the same company run a “tapas tour”. Which is basically a pub crawl with (Spanish) food. Again no photos but it was tops, the tapas itself was a bit disappointing but following on from the tour some of us continued the crawl with less food and more Sangria.

Next Stop, Lisbon! Lisbon was tops I am sure the experience was helped by finding the Alfama Patio Hostel Which is probably the coolest hostel I have ever stayed in, big clean rooms, friendly staff & guests, a well stocked fridge and in an awesome location. Also in Lisbon I caught up with Bean & his missus Peru who compete for silliest nicknames.

Bean

Would you rename your Girlfriend because you can't pronounce her name?

We spent 6 days in Lisbon and made it to the beach on one occasion (it rained). Bean has a theory that if you don’t know the history of anything you should make it up. Which lead to Lisbon having an amusing history of being conquered by just about everyone. Humour was added by our new friend Michael who we met in the hostel who was convinced Portugal was some kind of backwater… he was irritating while he was there, but provided many jokes once he left. Particular amusement when his mum phoned the hostel to check he was OK.

Bean & Michael

I also recommend Sintra and the Pena Palace as places to go if you ever visit Lisbon. Anyway, more photos if people are interested.

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